Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New Understanding: The Moment

There are moments in your life where you just "get it". You suddenly understand life and all it timehas to offer--all you have to offer. The lightbulb in your soul clicks on for a second and leaves just the same. Here is my account of when I experienced one such moment.

The time of my moment was in the late morning, somewhere between 10:30 and 11:30. The place of my moment was in my counselor's office.

The appointment begins as usual, me making small talk to delay the seriousness of why I'm here, to brighten up the darkness that my childhood and years of mistakes and regrets have layed upon me. I wish this small talk could go on forever, but my counselor and I have business to attend to, business of the heart and of the mind. Continuing the small talk would serve me no good but to hide from the truths of my soul, something I have done my entire life and what led me to where I sit on this day: in front of a therapist.

I sit here twice a month, on Mondays. Talking with my counselor feels like meeting with a friend for coffee, but without the coffee or the deceit, and with a new-found bravery and readiness to open up emotionally and spiritually. I sit here transparent, partly by choice, mostly by sheer force of my counselor's insight and intuition. I could continue hiding beneath the grit and the grime that has become my life, but it wouldn't matter. She sees right through me, a notion that is both frightening and freeing.

The conversation moves from small talk to my small self. The cleansing has begun. The topics of conversation are the usual: my mother, my depression, and my mistakes. But mostly we talk about my mother. What isn't in the norm is the effect that my counselor's words have on me. Don't get me wrong, I always receive great insight from her, but today was different. There was just something about...this moment.

I cannot repeat back her exact words in the exact order that they were spoken. It's not because I have forgotten, but rather, because I have internalized her words into the deepest corners of my soul. Her words have become a part of me, a part of my thinking and my feeling and my acting, my blueprint for what I am becoming.

The moment begins to take shape as I relay to her information about a conflict at work that happened yesterday, one in which I took what interpersonal skills I could muster up and did the best I could with what was presented to me. She tells me I handled this conflict with humility and maturity. I handled a conflict with humility and maturity. The flattering nature of her words aren't what struck me; but rather, the cause of her words, my actions, which up until now, in my eyes, have been anything but humble and mature.

Set-up, fail, run. Set-up, fail, run. I take any responsibility, activity, relationship, etc. and I make a list of 100 things that I must do in order to be successful, happy, self-sufficient, etc. I can only do the first 10 or 20 things before exhaustion and impossibilities hit. Since I could not complete the list, I am a failure. As a failure, I get depressed and run and hide from these relationships, jobs, activities...never to return again. Years and years I did this, ending friendships, relationships, jobs, college courses, etc. all because I couldn't measure up to my own perfect standards. Until yesterday.

light of the journey.You see, it wasn't the moment of getting it that lit up my soul, it was the moment in which I realized I had already gotten it, when I realized I was behaving appropriately in a new light, in light of years of subconciously reenacting the rotten lifestyle I had become accostumed to throughout the course of my twenty-seven years.

The experience of this moment granted me the realization that thousands of moments--every single high and low that my past, my present, and my future had, has, and will have to offer--will all one day condense into a simple, manageable contentment. But, the final product is not the moment. The journey is the moment--the journey is what I must relish in, what I must hold close to my soul, what I must never let go. The journey provides the light, not the darkness.

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